Rábida Leaf-toed Gecko Thriving On Galapagos Islands 10 Years After Invasive Rat RemovalThe Rábida leaf-toed gecko, according to Island Conservation, is known only through sub fossil records that date back more than 5,000 years.

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Rábida Leaf-toed Gecko Thriving On Galapagos Islands 10 Years After Invasive Rat Removal

The Rábida leaf-toed gecko, according to Island Conservation, is known only through sub fossil records that date back more than 5,000 years.

The Galapagos islands are home to 28 gecko species of the family Geckkonidae. Nineteen species are endemic to the islands.

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The Rábida leaf-toed gecko, (Phyllodactylus sp.) once thought to have gone extinct, has reemerged on the Galapagos islands of Pinzón and Rábida, 10 years after the removal of invasive black rats that decimated their populations. There is not a lot of information about the Rábida leaf-toed gecko as they have not been studied, but the 2011 removal of the rats resulted in the rediscovery of the little lizards. Fast forward 11 years and the population of the Rábida leaf-toed gecko is thriving with a successful recolonization of the islands. The gecko, according to Island Conservation, is known only through sub fossil records that date back more than 5,000 years.

The black rats were introduced onto Pinzón island and also as a result, the Pinzón giant tortoises were unable to sustain a successful population on the island for 150 years due to predation of the eggs and hatchlings by the rats.


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The findings of the scientists occurred during a trip to monitor wildlife recovery after the removal of the rats. That removal resulted in a more stable ecosystem that is now safe habitat for native plants and animals that the rats ate and preyed upon.

The Galapagos islands are home to 28 gecko species of the family Geckkonidae. Nineteen species are endemic to the islands.